Challenges and Recommendations for the Development of Affordable Live/Work Housing for Artists


Research Abstract
Challenges and Recommendations for the Development of Affordable Live/Work Housing for Artists

Rising housing costs and rising commercial rents, coupled with the influx of people who have been priced out of other parts of the Bay Area, are making it hard for the Oakland artist community to live and work in their own communities. The reality and threat of high cost housing has triggered the gradual relocation of Oakland artist communities to more affordable cities, jeopardizing an essential part of Oakland’s culture and identify. In this paper, the Network will summarize some of the challenges, best practices and solutions in developing affordable artist spaces for Oakland’s new Artists Housing and Workspace Task Force, which was recently established to address this issue. The work thus far is based on online research and interviews completed in June and July 2015.

This report is intended as a preliminary framing of issues only. While the task force continues to convene, this paper will evolve to include more information and recommendations [Overview p. 4]

In May 2015, the Housing and Community Development Department of the city of Oakland, California, submitted a request through the National Resource Network’s 311 for Cities asking for information on the main barriers facing the preserving and development of affordable artist housing and workplaces in cities. The city also requested that the network research ways to fund the development of artist housing. The request resulted in a “heavy” 311 response from the Network. The following report was researched, developed and shared with the city by the Network to highlight the challenges and recommendations for the development of artist live/work housing and workspaces. [Overview p. 4]


Wang, Frances
April 2016

National Resource Network
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United States